Supplements and Supplementation


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Supplements alone will never work! Supplements must be taken in synergy with healthy eating, a well constructed exercise program and a healthy lifestyle to be effective. I often wonder when a new research report comes out that shows a certain supplement does not work or worse actually causes harm, if the researchers were taking these facts into account.

There are very few supplements: vitamins, minerals, herbs, nutrients, enzymes, etc that work alone. Almost all work in synergy with other nutrients. Therefore, in order to achieve optimum benefit of your supplementation, you must make sure you have a solid foundation of healthy eating, lifestyle and exercise. That includes adequate sleep, hydration and stress management as well as avoiding smoking, air and water pollution, recreational drug use (and many prescription drugs are also contraindicated with many supplements) and overindulgence with alcoholic beverages.

The Supplements 1. DHEA – Dehydroepiandrosterone

DHEA is naturally produced by the adrenal glands in the body. It is produced from its precursor Pregnenolone and is eventually converted into Testosterone, Estrone or Estradiol. If you are young (30 or under) DO NOT run out to get DHEA! Your body is probably already producing an adequate supply. If your supply is adequate, the DHEA may take the Estrone pathway and be very undesirable, especially if you are male.

It is highly recommended that you first visit a doctor specializing in the endocrine system such as an Anti-Aging Medicine doctor and have your hormone levels checked. Even after you begin supplementing with DHEA, or any other hormone precursor, you should have the doctor check your hormone levels to ensure your system is using your supplement along the correct pathway.

Guys, if you DO NOT, instead of increasing muscle size and strength you may find yourself watching Oprah and crying during “chick flicks”! Now if you are following medical advice you will learn that DHEA like most hormones decreases with age. Aging causes a big decrease in the production of all active sex hormones. This can lead to the degeneration of target issues and eventually premature aging and all chronic diseases, disabilities and dysfunctions.

Used correctly, DHEA does appear to have an ability to regenerate the endocrine system returning hormones to more youthful levels, inducing anabolic growth factors, increasing muscle strength and lean body tissue, improving cardiovascular health, increasing the immune system, raising I.Q. and memory and improving overall quality of life in aging men and women. Recommended Use: For those who have had their hormone levels checked by a qualified doctor and have been diagnosed as below optimum for their sex hormone levels.

2. Melatonin

Melatonin dictates the sleeping-waking cycles of the body (Circadian Rhythms). It is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin production is determined by light and seasonal patterns. There are good indications that you can naturally increase Melatonin production by not eating within 3 hours of bedtime and sleeping in a completely dark room.

Melatonin supplementation has produced good benefits for people travelling across multiple time zones, people who work night-shifts or some who have difficulty sleeping. Warning! The NIH has published warnings about Melatonin including: reduced sex drive in males (not a huge surprise if you’re sleepy!), infertility, hypothermia, interference with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and retina damage. Melatonin may also be contra-indicated with certain drugs and NOT RECOMMENDED when consuming alcoholic beverages. It should not be used by anyone under 18. Excessive consumption may impair your ability to drive or operate equipment.

3. Pregnenolone

Sounds like something we guys should stay away from, but Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone precursor produced in the body from cholesterol. Pregnenolone is converted in the liver to DHEA and Progesterone which in turn will be converted to Testosterone and Estrogen.

Please review the details in DHEA as the same cautions apply here. In a young healthy body, Pregnenolone is adequate and supplementation is unwarranted and will not increase desired effects. In older bodies, whose Pregnenolone production is less than optimum, supplementation may improve lean body mass, muscular size and strength and improve cardiovascular/bone and immune system health.

Recommendation: For those who have had their hormone levels checked by a qualified doctor and have been diagnosed as below optimum for their sex hormone levels. Best regards, Dr. Jim Bell, CEO IFPA

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